A majority of employers end up offering full-time jobs to their interns, according to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. In fact, about 70% of interns land a job with their employer after their internship. Major companies including General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Goldman Sachs, IBM, NBCUniversal, and all of the Big Four accounting firms are known to hire a large percentage of their staff directly from their pool of interns.
Depending on the target industry, an internship could be a crucial step in landing a job, especially for those fresh out of college. However, the financial viability of interning can be a gamble, as internships tend to vary wildly in their pay rates – with many offering little or no compensation. (Here are the highest paying jobs you can get without a college degree.)
To compile a list of the states with the best paid internships, 24/7 Tempo reviewed a recently released report by CashNetUSA, an online lender, which analyzed internship salary data of more than 100 industries across all 50 states. To calculate the percentage of unpaid internships in each state, CashNetUSA consulted Chegg Internships to determine the number of disclosed paid, unpaid, and co-op listings, then divided the number of unpaid listings by the sum of the total listings. (Co-op listings are those that grant school credit.) Internship data is as of August 2022.
Average hourly pay for paid internships in each state was sourced from the career-search website Zippia. Internships that were fully remote and for which the pay conditions were not specified were excluded. Data on household income, median gross rent, and bachelor’s degree attainment came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey.
Tech internships often pay higher wages than other industries, with an average rate of $19.77 per hour; and interns in states with large tech industries like Washington and California tend to make much higher wages. Connecticut, which is a center of aerospace manufacturing, software development, and finance, also offers internships with great compensation.
After tech, the finance industry offers the second highest-paying internships, with an average hourly rate of $18.10. However, finance is also the industry with the highest percentage of unpaid internships, with 30% offering no compensation.
The states with the highest percentage of unpaid internships – Delaware, New York, Oregon, New Jersey, and California – tend to have higher rents as well as higher bachelor’s degree attainment. On the other hand, states with the lowest paying internships, including Wyoming, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Alabama tend to also have lower rents, lower household incomes, and lower bachelor’s attainment. (These are 18 states where Americans make the least money.)
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